Sing along now: “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down …”

A spoonful of sugar may help the medicine go down. But here’s something even better! A spoonful of creativity could help you and your little ones avoid the need for medicine in the first place.

Research has long supported the benefits of creativity for helping with brain function and stress reduction. And since high stress tends to have a negative impact on both mental and physical health, using activities that encourage creativity to reduce stress is a great way to relax, unwind and stay healthy.

Now recent research has shown that daily doses of creativity can help “positive growth” in young adults. According to the results of a study published in Science Daily late last year: “Everyday creative activity may lead to an ‘upward spiral’ of increased well being and creativity in young adults, new research from New Zealand’s University of Otago suggests.” While this particular study focused on university students, it supports past research that has shown benefits of creativity for both adults and children.

So instil a sense of creativity in your children now by encouraging them to explore and express themselves. Here are some easy ways for them to be creative:

• Make sure your kids have lots of opportunities to doodle, draw, paint and colour

• Encourage them to keep a journal. They can create magical worlds or explore their everyday world. Whether they are venting frustrations or sharing excitement, make sure they know that this is the perfect time to be honest. No worrying about penmanship, spelling or grammar here!

• Just about anything you can find can become materials for creating. Go traditional with wooden blocks or experiment with things you find around the house or outside. LEGO® Bricks are a great way for kids to harness their inner architects and engineers, and Bricks 4 Kidz provides an extraordinary atmosphere devoted to learning, building and playing.

• Have a child who loves being in the kitchen? Great! Let their imaginations go. Who knows what they can cook up? From simple snacks, to dinner for the family, to fun desserts, creativity can be delicious!

• Turn the family room or backyard into their personal stage and let them act, sing, dance and perform. It’s a great way for them to express themselves.